Meeting the Minimum Income Requirement and Alternative Sources of Income

The Minimum Income Requirement for Applicant’s applying for a family of a settled person visa is a contentious requirement which continuously worries Applicants and has often resulted in the separation of families for long periods. There is often a misconception that the only way to meet the Minimum Income Requirement is by demonstrating that the Applicant meets the threshold of £18,600 through their Sponsors salaried employment in the UK. There are 5 different ways Applicants can meet the Minimum Income Requirement for their visa application.  The recent noteworthy Supreme Court judgement in MM Javed declared the Minimum Income Requirement to be lawful but criticised the Home Office Policy and Guidance suggesting reforms so that the Policy and Guidance give more weight to the interests of the children involved. Following the judgement, it is likely that the Home Office will amend its Policy and Guidance allowing alternative source funding to be considered. 

Minimum Income Requirement
Advice on Minimum Income Requirement | LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors

The Minimum Income Requirement can be satisfied in 5 ways

We regularly assist clients in submitting successful family-based visa applications such as the Unmarried Partner, fiancé and Spouse Visas. Whilst the most common way of meeting the Minimum Income Requirement is through salaried employment demonstrating that the Sponsor earns a minimum income of £18,600.  It is not the only way of meeting this controversial requirement, in fact, there are 5 ways an Applicant can meet theMinimum Income Requirement under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules. Please See table below in which we outline the different sources of income which may be relied upon in a visa application:

Category Source Of Income to Meet the Minimum Income Requirement
A & B

Applicants can meet the Minimum Income Requirement by relying upon their Sponsors income from salaried or non-salaried employment. This can be salaried employment with one employer for a period of 6 months or more alternatively employment with various employers for a period of over 12 months, overseas salary can also be relied on.

C In some circumstances, Applicants can rely on income from non-employment such as income deriving from; property rental, Dividends or other income from investments, bonds or trusts funds, ongoing royalty or insurance payments amongst other forms of income.
D If an Applicant or Sponsor have held cash savings in the sum of at least £62,500 for a period of more than 6 months and have full ownership of the savings, then these can be relied on exclusively or in combination with another category.  Savings must be held in cash in a personal bank/savings account in the name of the Applicant or Sponsor or jointly. The savings can be from any legal source, including a gift from a family member or other third party, provided the source of the cash savings is declared.
E Applicants can rely on their Sponsors annual income from state or private pensions.
F & G Applicants can rely on their Sponsors income from self-employment as a director of a specified limited company in the UK.

To meet the Financial Requirement and submit a successful UK visa application you must provide the specified documentary evidence listed in Appendix FM-SE to the Immigration Rules. The documents required would vary depending on which category an Applicant wishes to rely upon.

Combining categories to meet the Minimum Income Requirement

Where a family of a settled person visa application falls short in meeting the Minimum Income Requirement there are some circumstances where categories can be combined to make up the deficit. It is important to note that not every category can be combined. Cash savings can be combined with salaried and non-salaried employment, non-employment and pension. Similarly, salaried and non-salaried employment can be combined with non-employment and income from a pension. Non-employment can be combined with a pension, cash savings and salaried and non-salaried employment. However, Applicants cannot rely on cash savings if they are meeting the Minimum Income Requirement through their Sponsors self-employment as a director of a specified limited company in the UK under category F or G.

If you are relying on a combination of categories to meet the Minimum Income Requirement it is crucial you fully understand the distinction between the different categories and recognise which categories can be combined. Our Solicitors and Barristers have a 100% success rate with the family of a settled person visa applications and often assist clients with complex visa applications where the Applicant wishes to meet the Minimum Income Requirement by combing the different categories.

Alternative Ways of meeting the Minimum Income Requirement following MM Javed

Following on from the Supreme Court Judgement in MM Javed in which the Supreme Court unanimously backed Theresa May’s harsh Minimum Income Requirement deeming the Minimum Income Requirement to be lawful. The court dismissed the Appellants’ claim of a breach of Article 8 ECHR. However, the Supreme Court judgment criticised the Home Office Policy and Guidance and suggested that it needs a major reform as it does not give enough weight to the interests of the children especially where there is an alternative source of funding available to meet the Minimum Income Requirement.

Whilst the Supreme Court judgement did not strike out the Minimum Income Requirement, it acknowledged that the Minimum Income Requirement is being inconsistently applied by the Home Office causing hardship for families and that the Home Office Policy and Guidance is ambiguous and lacks clarity. The Supreme Court held that the Home Office Policy and Guidance should be amended to give more weight to alternative ways of meeting the Minimum Income Requirement. This landmark case is considered as a real victory for families, as the Supreme Court judgement is likely to pressure the Home Office to amend its Policy and Guidance in respect of allowing alternative sources of income such as the Applicants overseas employment or funding from family members. At present, Applicants cannot rely on their overseas employment, prospective employment offers in the UK or funding from family members but these changes could be implemented. There is no set timeframe to when these changes may be implemented but it is clear that the Home Office will be amending its Policy and Guidance following the Supreme Courts judgement in MM Javed.

Using Legal Representation to meet the Minimum Income Requirement in Family Visas

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a family of a settled person visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully submit an Application meeting the Minimum Income Requirement

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interests. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your family of a settled person visa and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant Immigration Rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our immigration lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a family of a settled person visa.

Contact our London immigration solicitors and barristers on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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